Riding the Fence

Author: Eriberto Rodriguez

Rated: Mature – Drama/Adult Themes

© 2009 Eriberto Rodriguez

Here is an excerpt of a novel-in-progress. Feedback would be greatly appreciated!

 

Riding

The

Fence

 

I.

 

Double Life

 

The red Mustang quickly veered into the dusty parking lot, kicking up dust and rocks as the tires ground to a halt. The shiny, clean coat glistened in the cool, breezy summer night. Muffled bass could be heard coming from the inside of the car. The music died down as the did the engine. The driver side door popped open and out stepped a young-looking Hispanic man. His black, low-top Timberland boots crunched against the gravel. He wore a stylish, off-white oxford shirt with french cuffs; shiny cuff-links reflected the moonlight. He had a thin, neatly trimmed mustache and a little bit of facial hair on his chin. He had dark, close-cut hair and his dark eyes looked out at the many cars in the lot. Stuffing his keys into one pocket and checking the others for his cellphone and wallet he strode across the lot. His mellow expression brightened a bit as he got closer to his destination: a nightclub with a neon green sign, reading “Lucky Shack”. He reached the front wooden doors and strutted in, a mischievous smile finding its way to his face. “Party time!” he thought.

An average-looking place; it was neither high class nor sleazy. Just an average place for people to get together for a drink, dance and to mingle. In the front were several tables and chairs to sit and chat on. A bar was just beyond at the far wall and to the left was a lighted dance floor. The deejay sat up on a high, hidden booth and had the latest hits blasting loudly. All the tables and chairs were occupied with men and women drinking, talking and laughing. The bar had no elbow room left and the dance floor was jammed with guys and girls dancing away.

Wilfredo Vasquez, for that was the young man’s name, leisurely sauntered up to the bar grinning at several women as he passed. He waved at the bartender, a blonde woman in her forties, and softly said, “Screwdriver.” His voice was inaudible with all the music and noise in the place, but he was a frequent patron and knew that she was deaf and could read lips. She smiled and mouthed back,”The usual!” as she made his drink and slid it across the counter to him. He paid, took his drink and sipped it as he walked away towards the dance floor.

He walked the floor around the frenzied crowd and nodded to some of the regulars and shook hands with the ones he knew slightly better. He strode through the crowd as though he was a celebrity, guys shaking his hand and women giving him hugs and kisses on the cheek. Several commented on how good his cologne smelled and he graciously thanked them and moved on, sipping his drink some more. “Amazing. I barely know most of these fucks.” he thought to himself. It didn’t seem that way but none of the people in the entire place could even be called acquaintances let alone friends. He had no real friends. This was the only time he ever saw or spoke to any of them; Friday night at the club. “Will they even remember me tomorrow?” he thought. “Fuck’em.” He downed the last of his drink and went for another.

He found himself a little spot where he could stand near the dance floor; a shelf nearby where he could put down his drink. By this time he had several in him and his brain was buzzing like a bee hive. He checked out the women, for that was what he was here for, and mentally passed or failed them. They failed more than they passed in his eyes. But his expression didn’t betray any of this, his was that of a man enjoying the moment and ready to have fun. He soon struck up small talk with the women that appeared to be single but he never lingered with any one for too long. A few comments here and there and he was off talking to another. Never rudely, but just as a busy guy who had to divide his attention among so many people.

Soon the alcohol had killed all inhibitions and he found himself out on the dance floor. He couldn’t remember who asked who to dance but he didn’t care. Now he could really show off. He was unsure about a great many things in his life, but at this moment he was confident of his dancing ability. It wasn’t just conceit or drunkenness; he did dance well. He moved to the beat and danced with the rhythm. The dark haired woman he was dancing with, “What was her name again?”, bit her lip at how delicious and sexy he looked dancing. He grabbed her hips and lustfully ground his body against hers. His face was of pure delight; he had not a care in the world. He looked into her eyes with a big grin on his face like a predator who had his prey right where he wanted it. Then…..he was gone. Mumbling something about the restroom he retreated from the moment. She stood there with a bewildered expression but quickly hid it and went to join her friends who were eager to know what she was up to.

In the bathroom, after taking a long relieving piss, he splashed some water on his face. Drying his hands and face he looked at himself proudly, full of himself. He went back to the dance floor and didn’t even bother to look for the other girl. When he saw her he pretended he hadn’t seen her; even went so far as to pretend he was looking for her. But he wasn’t. His eyes kept wandering to a cute blonde dancing with her not-so-cute friend. She had eyed him several times when he was dancing with the other woman. He started dancing alone but made his way towards her. Little by little she distanced herself from her friend until magically he had her in his arms from behind. She was short, her hair barely past his chin. She reached up and backwards caressing his face and hair as she ground her butt into his crotch. The beat of the music didn’t seem to matter anymore; she wasn’t dancing to the beat. “Is the other one watching? Am I hurting her feelings?” he thought as he pressed his body against the lustful creature he had here. “Fuck it. I don’t know her or owe her anything.” he told himself as his hands reached down and caressed her tight-jeaned thighs.

This continued for a while until the friend “needed” her for something. They disengaged and with a “I’ll be right back!” walked out to the smoking area with her friend. He smiled, nodded and turned his attention back to the dance floor. He was flying high now with the combination of alcohol in his system and the attention of women. He was feeling invincible and was completely in the moment. Cares and worries were gone. Only the music mattered now as he two-stepped and danced on his own. He whirled and glided as though he were on the clouds, and oh yes he felt light as air. But he couldn’t dance alone for long, soon he had a brief dance with this one and that one; he was partying and there was no denying him. Soon even he got tired and took a break, walking a crooked line to a nearby chair. He looked around and saw the one he had danced with first. She was sitting with her friends chatting; occasionally looking his way as though waiting for him to come talk to her. He thought about it for a moment and looked elsewhere. There was the blonde again, doing the same butt grind with some black guy. He glanced away with a look of disdain but not surprised.

The night was ending and it was near closing time. Last call had come and gone and the deejay was playing the final song of the night, a slow jam. Some random girl he had danced with came up to him and asked if he wanted to dance. He looked at her, his buzz not feeling so good now. She had a pretty face, with long dark hair and nice looking teeth. She had an attractive body with ample breasts and a pert butt and he definitely liked what he saw. All that didn’t matter because he put his hand on his stomach and said, “I’m sorry hun, I’m not feeling too well. I have to get going but thank you. Maybe next time?” He smiled weakly, trying to reassure her that he wasn’t rejecting her and retreated out the front door with the rest of the crowd filing out.

Outside half the crowd stayed on milling about. He stood outside for a moment taking in the fresh air and trying to clear the nagging buzz in his head. He saw the first dark haired girl, driving away with her friends. Nearby the blonde was exchanging numbers with the black guy while her not-so-cute friend waited impatiently nearby. He laughed to himself, thinking, “How long will it take them to fuck? Nah, her friend is gonna cock-block all the way!” He chuckled to himself and decided to get a move on before the one that had asked for a dance came out.

 

As he made his way to his car, he was oblivious to the fact that all his antics had not gone unnoticed. From the moment he had arrived, an unknown pair of hazel eyes occasionally glanced in his direction and observed. Not really watching; not stalking; but merely noticing. As he flitted about the place talking here and dancing there, he would unknowingly cross the line of sight of those eyes and they would mark his presence.

 

Wilfredo turned the key in the ignition and his car roared to life, the CD player instantly blasting music. He rolled his windows down and slowly eased the car through the lot towards the exit. He took one last glance at the people milling about and peeled out. Driving down the road towards the highway he jammed his finger on the radio’s OFF button. His lips curling into something of a snarl. “What the fuck is wrong with you, Willie!” he yelled at himself. All the nice feelings of being carefree and uninhibited were gone, pushed away with thoughts of his reality and feelings of inadequacy. “Why do you do this shit to yourself?” he yelled as he took a turn a little too fast. “Fucking shit!” he yelled but instead of slowing down he angrily floored the gas pedal and his Mustang happily obliged him by roaring down the street. “Damn it! I’m gonna get myself pulled over. I’m such a dick!” he thought as he slowed the car down to a normal speed. “All I got to do is focus and get home safe and without trouble.” he said to himself as he blew through a red light. His heart was beating rapidly in his chest, any minute he was expecting to see those scary red and blue lights in his rear-view mirror. But they never came.

His angry outburst subsided and he was able to drive normally. Now the corners of his mouth turned downwards as he realized that he was all alone and how lonely the rest of his night would be. He couldn’t help but think about past loves and how they were gone never to come back. Emotions from years past welled up in him, his heart ached for those feelings again. His eyes filled with tears for a moment but he fought them back. The past is the past and that’s where it stays. His mouth became a tight-lipped line, his eyes steely hard and his forehead wrinkled in concentration as he steered the car down the highway and home.

He pulled up to a yellow, single story house in a typical suburban neighborhood. In the driveway a red van was parked. He parked his car on the street in front of the house, turned off the ignition and stepped out. He stood for several moments on the sidewalk looking at the house. It was dark except for the glow of T.V.’s coming from three of the six windows. He sighed as he walked to the front door, hands fishing in his pocket for his keys. Stealthily he unlocked the door and quietly let himself in, locking the door behind him.

He stood quiet in the darkness listening if anyone was up and about. The only sounds he heard were of several T.V.’s that were on. He silently crossed the room he was in, which was the living room, into the kitchen. He paused again and looked to his left, down a long hallway. Immediately next to him was a door which was his destination; the door to the basement. But he didn’t go down. Instead he crept down the hall past two rooms to the third and final room. The door was slightly ajar and he could hear the TV on. He quietly and ever so slowly pushed the door open a little further, just enough so he could put his head through. He looked into the room and first noticed how much in disarray it was. Clothes and bedroom items were strewn all over the place. There were a few moving boxes half full of stuff. “Jeez, its been several months and she still hasn’t unpacked her shit.” He hears some light snoring and looked over to the bed. There she was. His wife.

He cringed at the thought of it. He closed the door and remembered that there was a time that he was happy with that thought. It used to bring him comfort and satisfaction. Now it only serves to remind him of the prison that he put himself in. Reminds him of how fake every facet of his life is. Did he ever love her? He thinks he did, but its hard to tell now. So much fighting and ill feelings have pushed it so far out of his mind that he can’t remember the feelings anymore.

He starts walking back to the basement door and pauses at the next door. This one is half open and he cautiously peers in. A neat room decorated in pink flowers and pictures of teen boys; it’s the girls’ room. Two twin beds next to each other with a shared TV at the foot. Each bed has a snoring ball of sheets. His step-daughters, though he never really called them that, being that he raised them most of their lives. They are not biologically his but they still call him dad and that thought comforts him and yet reminds him that all is not as it should be. He steps in, flicks the TV off, and steps out closing the door behind him.

The next room down is the boys’ room. Their door is wide open and he steps right in. Typical boys room with toys, video games and clothes thrown all over the place. There is only room for one twin size bed in here which they share. The bed was flush with the wall and jamming himself into the corner between the bed and the wall was his step-son. Again that is the official term for he raised that boy as his own so much so that he didn’t recognize his real father. “That’s my big boy.” he thought. Finally he saw a sight that simultaneously brought a smile to his lips and tears to his eyes. There was his son, his real flesh and blood, laying half on the bed and half off. He was a skinny little ten year old, dressed in only his undies. Willie, knelt down next to him and hugged him. Suddenly all the pain and anguish stored up in his being, his soul, poured out. He tried to fight it back to not wake anyone, and confined it to soft sobs. Tears were pouring down his face. Whenever he didn’t know what love was, it was his son who would remind him. “This is love. This is what real feeling is.” he thought to himself. He loved the others, but this was different. He could feel it at the very core of his being.

He gathered himself up and put his son properly in the bed. He shut off the TV and went through the door to the basement. Downstairs it was a “finished” basement, with painted sheet rock walls and a worn carpet. In the far corner there was a full-size mattress laying on the floor and a rack of clothes next to it. On the other side of the bed was a TV on a box. This was home, sweet home. He locked the door behind him and stumbled over to the bed as he unbuttoned his shirt. The forgotten intoxication of the night welling over him. He was a mess of anger, sorrow, distress and anguish. Being drunk didn’t help either. He fluctuated from one emotion to another. He cried as he took one shoe off and snarled angrily as he tossed the other across the room.

“How could things be so bad? How can we go from being a family to a hollow shell of one? Who the fuck am I? How can I love them so much and yet yearn to be free of them? How can two people happily married with everything going right suddenly find themselves barely tolerating the sight of one another? Why do I stay if it hurts so much? Why don’t I go? They need me right? I’m the father, I’m the husband. I’m supposed to be here, right? Am I helping? Am I hurting them more by staying? Here I am again, standing on this fucking fence of decision and feeling powerless, paralyzed. I hate myself for this. It seems so easy for other people. I feel like such a loser cuz I can’t ever make up my freaking mind about shit!“

Angry and frustrated, he tossed the last of his clothes to the floor. Standing there in his boxers he realized, “Its freaking cold in this basement even in the summer.” His mind and thoughts were swimming dizzily in his intoxicated brain. Half falling, he got into his bed and pulled his comforter over him. Laying there he started feeling like he was falling backwards. His head lolled from one side to the other as he mumbled nonsense to himself. The last conscious thought on his mind was: “Things weren’t always like this…….”

To be continued…


Comments
  1. very good post, i definitely love this web site, keep on it

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s